We have all been there. You purchase something brand new for your wardrobe, wear it once (maybe a few times) and all of a sudden it looks like the piece has aged three years. Whether it's a thread unraveling from your shirt or a hole in the inseam of your pants. We know by now that not all clothing is made to last.
While fast fashion may be fun to get your hands on the latest trends at the cheapest price tag, one thing is for sure, the quality will suffer. You may get only a few wears and short amount of time from that piece. And although it was "cheap"-it's still your money spent on something that lacks true quality.
Today we are sharing how to shop for quality clothing. This begins with knowing what to look for when shopping.
Check the label
The making of a garment's fabric structure is imperative to it's level of quality. While many people prefer natural fibers developed from plants and animals as cotton, wool, linen, or silk-synthetics, such as polyester, acrylic and rayon, have made a name for themselves in our wardrobes as well. These synthetic fabrics are continuously being improved by technology making their quality compete closely with natural fibers. In fact, in most cases natural materials are blended into synthetic fibers to give the appearance and feel of all-natural fibers.
This being said, we would still recommend staying cautious when purchasing pieces made from synthetic fibers, as they do not stand well against repeated washes and drying. For instance, when you dry a cotton-polyester blend garment in the dryer, the two materials can shrink at different rates, resulting in the garment to take a different shape.
Inspect the seams
This is because the seams are what is literally holding garments together. Take a very close look at the outside and inside of the piece. The stitches should be even, laying flat and closely and evenly spaced. If the seams look sloppy or there are places where the stitches are overlapping, this could be a sign to steer clear from the piece as it may not last long.
Feel the Fabric
It seems like a no brainer. The best way to judge a fabric is to feel it. Does it feel thin or substantial? Smooth or rough? Figure out how much fabric you think there is in the garment, because this is what is going to allow it to last longer. However, remember that the fabric does not necessarily need to be heavy. Sometimes the threads are tightly packed, making the garment lightweight. So, focus on density over weight.
Another way to get a sense of how quality clothing feels is to return to your own closet and garments. Feel and take a close look at what's in your closet currently that you love and has aged well. Then take what you noticed to the stores and look for those qualities in your next purchase.
Do the light and stretch test
Although we have touched mostly on the feel of a fabric, that's not the only way to judge its quality. Sometimes manufacturers add chemicals to give their clothes a thicker and smoother feel that is temporary and disappears after the first wash. To see beyond this, hold the fabric up to the light, stretch it out and give it a close look.
For some particular fabrics, it's a good idea to stretch and let go to see how the fabric bounces back into it's shape. If it doesn't, then it will mostly not after you wear it either.
We hope you feel ready to take on shopping in a whole new light. Remember, you deserve not only the best value for your money, but to clothe yourself in pieces that feel good and will last you throughout the years.
Here is a list of 5 brands creating wearable basics and everyday essentials that celebrate quality and a luxurious feel.
- Rag and Bone